Monday, June 18, 2012

Girl and the Goat

Location: 809 W. Randolph St., Chicago IL, 60661
Girl & the Goat on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
A restaurant that goes above and beyond its hype!  This is definitely an amazing place to try more exotic approaches at cooking and a great way to be adventurous without stepping too far outside normal comfort zones.  The small plates here are perfectly sized and the menu is extensive enough and changes frequently enough that the restaurant will be calling your name to come back and try more.  I am so glad this gem is found in the great food city of Chicago!

What I ate:

Beet Bread

Sometimes I wonder why places charge for bread and butter... and then I try this bread.  I honestly wished we ordered more of their breads!  This beet bread was freshly baked with pork fat...  It comes out steaming hot and with a side of sweetened assorted nuts and a creamy goat butter (I believe).  Slicing the bread can be a little tricky, but once you get a slice, top it with a generous helping of the butter and sprinkle just a few nuts (you don't want to overpower the pork fat flavor).  I kept wanting more of their bread throughout the night.

Crispy Duck Tongues

I believe this dish is a great one for non-adventurous eaters.  It sounds crazy... I mean it says duck tongue in its name.  Anyway, this dish reminds me of the typical stir fry you get in a chinese restaurant. Stir-fried with some roasted mushrooms and assorted greens and topped with crispy wontons.  I craved a rice or some sort of starchy vessel to eat with the dish.  The tongues were extremely crispy, so that fried flavor definitely came through.  Delicious!

Goat Carpaccio

Sliced extremely thin, this is the raw goat option we decided to try.  It was served with a micro green salad mixed on top along with a few capers and smoked roe.  I love capers so I may be biased but rolling some of the salad, capers, and roe into a roll with the goat meat made a memorable bite.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

Goat Chorizo Flatbread

The flatbread here was a nice way to explore the goat meat option without being to "exotic."  The vessel was a crispy wheat crust.  It was topped with goat chorizo, apples, ricotta, and green tomatoes.  It is a perfect plate for four people!  I do wish they used maybe a goat cheese instead of the ricotta, but I do see how that stronger cheese may overpower the other ingredients.  I just have a taste for goat cheese and unfortunately didn't try anything with it.

Escargot Ravioli

This was my first time trying escargot in a non-French way (usually I have it in butter and with toasted baguette slices).  I was excited about this dish and it turned out amazing.  In fact, it was one of my favorites.  The ravioli are huge and each stuffed with a full escargot.  It was very simple... cooked with a little bacon and had a miso type sauce to it.  I could eat a bowl of these and still would crave for more.

Steamed Mussels

Without a doubt some of the largest mussels I have ever seen/eaten.  They literally took up the entire shell and changed my view of mussels forever.  They were cooked in an amazing white wine broth and served with crispy goat sausage croutons!  You have to let those croutons soak in the the broth before eating them... It does remove the crunchiness but loads the croutons with even more amazing flavors.  I just wished I had more bread to dip into this delicious broth!

Confit Goat Belly

Another one of my top dishes from this restaurant and another one of their goat specials of the day.  This goat belly is cooked in a bourbon butter with lobster and fennel.  Huge chunks of both the belly and lobster were everywhere.  I really enjoyed mixing everything together and making that one great bite!  Definitely a must have!

Crispy Pig Face

Coming from a Filipino background, I have had a similar dish to this known as Sisig.  The modern spin wasn't as good as the traditional version I had in Cebu, Philippines, but it was a great way to introduce the dish to Chicago!  The Pig Face is mostly the cheek of the pig and some of the skin.  It is oven roasted and then mixed with some chopped onion and potatoes.  It is all topped with a sunny side up egg.  When you get this dish, make sure to MIX EVERYTHING!  It is supposed to be served with rice... and I believe it would be 10x better if it came with a side of rice.  But overall it is a good dish and a funny item that shows up on your receipt!

Sautéed Green Beens

Our waitress recommended these as the vegetable we should try.  Once again I saw a spin on a Filipino dish that I have grown up eating.  After sautéing the green beans, they top it with a creamy version of a fish sauce and some chopped cashews.  There were great texture contrasts in this dish, but the fish sauce may be a little too strong for some people.

Grilled Pork Ribs

Fall of the bone ribs... usually I have very picky because some places have tough ribs... But we figured at such a popular restaurant it must be delicious... and it was!  It had a nice spicy rub on the meat and then was topped with some kind of sauce that was hard to explain.  I probably wouldn't order it the next time but only because there are so many other menu items to choose from.

Chocolate Chili Cake with Peanut Cream

Once again I apologize for such terrible pictures.  Anyway, this dessert was recommended by the waitress.  It is extremely rich... especially with both peanut butter and chocolate.  So if you are looking for that rich dessert.. try this one for sure.  The chili actually is more prominent than expected.  A slight burn is felt after a couple bites and it makes you wish for some kind of ice cream to be served with this dish.  Great dessert!

Butternut Squash Donuts with Cheddar Cheese and Ice Cream

How could we pass up on a dessert with cheddar cheese and butternut squash?  We didn't... mainly because it sounds like typical entree ingredients.  I really enjoyed this dessert because of the salty and sweet contrasts.  The squash donuts were surprisingly sweet and freshly fried.  The cheddar cheese was nice and sharp and the ice cream just made the entire dish creamy.  Definitely a great way to cap off an amazing and memorable meal!

Smoking Jacket Cocktail

I am not much of a liquor/cocktail drinker, but had to try this little creation.  Unfortunately I forgot the ingredients but I do remember it calls for liquid smoke.  Try it!

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Do order the different styles of bread.  It may seem weird to order bread for the table, but missing out on their amazing homemade breads would be disappointing.
- Do come with a larger crowd.  This allows you to try a larger variety of the small plates without breaking the bank.
- Do leave room for dessert.  Even if everything sounds amazing on the menu... the desserts are comparable if not better!
- Do use valet parking... This area is difficult to park and the valet right in front of the restaurant will make your experience that much better.

- Don't forget to make reservations weeks in advance... It is one of the most popular restaurants and is definitely hard to get a seat.
- Try not to arrive late... The hostesses are very considerate, but walk-ins may get your table if you come too late.

How far would I walk for this food?


  1. Do you know how to make that butternut squash donuts? I would like to try creating my own recipe using sugar substitutes so that it will not bad for my health.

    -Ms. Carol

  2. It sounds like it is really delicious bread. I will try to create my own version but I am going to bake the bread using chicken fat.

    -Mrs. Bethany